Purcell Student in New Netflix Film

Our congratulations to Year 12 classical voice and commercial music student Arabella on her performance in Netflix’s latest film release, ‘The Kitchen’.

‘The Kitchen’, which premieres today (Friday 19th January 2024) on the streaming service, is a dystopian thriller set in London starring Kano (Top Boy) and Daniel Kaluuya. While Arabella recorded her part in 2022 prior to joining Purcell, the film has been 8 years in the making and so its release today is particularly eagerly anticipated.

Hugely well done, Arabella. We will all be tuning in!


Edward Longstaff

Edward Longstaff is leaving The Purcell School at the end of this academic year, after 31 years’ service. To mark the occasion, the School is giving a concert at Southwark Cathedral on Thursday 27th June.

Wayne Marshall will play the Poulenc Organ Concerto conducted by Paul Hoskins, and Edward will conduct Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Ecce Sacerdos by Bruckner.

We would love the choir to include as many alumni from his time at the school as possible. If you would like to sing in the concert, please fill in the form here and share widely.

For those not wishing to sing but would like to attend the concert, further details will be published shortly.


Bassoon Masterclass

On Monday 15th January, the Woodwind Department were treated to a visit from Daniel Jemison, Principal Bassoon in the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) and Professor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Before joining the LSO, Daniel was Principal Bassoon with English National Opera, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Co-principal Bassoon with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie. He has recorded the Mozart Bassoon Concerto with the RPO, and can be heard on many film soundtracks, including ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Jason Bourne’ and the Marvel ‘Captain America’ films. Thank you to Daniel for sharing his time, expertise and experience with our young bassoonists so unreservedly.


Glow in One

On Saturday 13th January, eight of our full borders in Years 7-9 enjoyed a round of mini gold at ‘Glow in One’ in Watford. Well done to John (Year 8) and Willow (Year 9) for getting their names on the leaders board at the venue!


Avison Mural Competition

The Art Department, in conjunction with Purcell’s pastoral team, are running a competition to design a mural for Avison House. The theme is ‘Dreamland’ and the winning design will take pride of place on the walls of the boarding house. The competition is open to all Purcell students and, in addition to securing their own piece of Purcell history, the winner will be the recipient of lots of Amazon vouchers.

Avison House is a blank canvas and is ready and waiting for the winning design!

All artwork must be completed on A4 paper and submitted to the Art Department by Friday 9th February to be eligible.

Very best of luck!


Purcell Teacher Featured in The Strad

Internationally renowned violinist and Purcell instrumental teacher Alda Dizdari has been featured in the Teaching Section of a recent edition of The Strad. In the article, which focuses on technique, Alda shares her thoughts on teaching bow distribution and how ‘it communicates to the listener a particular vision and understanding of any phrase’. The article is available here in full for subscribers.


Forthcoming Events

In addition to those highlighted events below, please visit our new online Concerts and Events Guide here.

Tuesday 23 January – Purcell Symphonic Wind Orchestra Lunchtime Concert
Time: 1.10pm
Venue: CP Hall, The Purcell School
Tickets: Free admission, no booking necessary

Come and join us for the first concert of the Purcell Symphonic Wind Orchestra this school year under the baton of Dr Ryan Hepburn.

Marquez | Danzón No.2
Holst | The First Suite in E-Flat for Military Band Op. 28 No. 1

Purcell Symphonic Wind Band
Conductor: Dr Ryan Hepburn

Wednesday 31 January – Sixth Form Concert
Time: 7.00pm
Venue: CP Hall, The Purcell School
Tickets: Free admission, no booking necessary

The third and final Sixth Form Concert of the year will feature a selection of soloists who are in their final two years of school.

Sunday 4th February – Alexander Ullmann and Teo Gheorghiu Recital
Time: 4pm
Venue: The Clarendon Muse, 70 Rickmansworth Road
Tickets: Tickets are £20 (free admission for those aged under 26) and available to purchase from the Octagon Music Society’s website here.

Purcell alumni perform as a piano duo, and are joined by current Purcell students in a recital for the Octagon Music Society Watford

Alexander Ullman, Teo Gheorghiu, Jiahao and Anna

Schubert | Fantasie in F minor D. 940 for piano four hands
Grieg | Peer Gynt Suite No.1 Op. 46 for piano four hands
Mozart | Sonata No. 14 in C Minor K.457, I. Molto Allegro
Liszt | Consolation No.3 in D-flat Major S.172
Liszt | Tarantella from Années de pèlerinage: Venezia e Napoli
Liszt | The Transcendental Études S. 139 No. 10 in F minor (Allegro agitato molto) , No. 11 in D-flat Major (Harmonies du soir) and No. 12 in B-Flat minor (Chasse-neige)

Wednesday 7 February – Leeds International Concert Season Lunchtime Concert
Time: 1.05pm
Venue: Leeds Conservatoire
Tickets: Free admission, no booking necessary

Schubert | String Quintet in C

Rebecca, Tori, Danya, Ella and Ivanna

Monday 12 February – Rhapsody in Blue Centenary Concert
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: St John’s Smith Square, London
Tickets: £6 to £20 and available to purchase from the St John’s Smith Square website

The Purcell School Orchestra and Orion Orchestra
Nicholas Daniel, Conductor
Benji Lock, Piano

Joseph Phibbs | Veloce (WP)
Edward Tait | New Work (WP)
Antonia Zadrag | New Work (WP)
Gershwin | Rhapsody in Blue
Eleanor Alberga | Symphony No. 1 ‘Strata’

Wednesday 28 February – Chamber Music at Wigmore Hall
Time: 1.00pm
Venue: Wigmore Hall, London
Tickets: £18 and available to purchase from the Wigmore Hall website

A programme of chamber music, including a movement from Schubert’s String Quintet in C Major.

More details to come in due course.